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Old 04-13-2012, 08:23 PM   #1
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Water Heater

I know I am a dummy but trying to learn. Just bought my first camper. A Salem Le. Really nice camper. The previous owner had winterized it and unexpectedly passed away. I opened the drain plug on the hot water heater on the outside to see if there was anything in it. It was dry but the plug was a metal one with a long probe attached to it. Can some one tell me about the long probe? Also would this hot water heater be a gas only unit or a gas and electric or eclectric only. How do I tell?
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:30 PM   #2
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The water heater drain plug is also an anode rod to protect against corrosion. Check also to ensure that the water heater bypass valve is closed.

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Old 04-13-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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well first the probe is an anode for keeping the tank from rusting and if the unit is gas and electric there should be a switch on the outside near where the probe screws in and then a switch on the inside that turns the gas on (if its electronic ignition) hpe that helps ?
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:46 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, all this is new to me! Terry
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:13 PM   #5
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What they said.

One word of warning, though. Just make sure you have water in the tank before turning on the gas or electric for the heater.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:29 PM   #6
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I finally got to go out and look at the hot water heater. I opened up the outside cover and it does have a off and on switch as described. On the inside it has a panel with two switches. One is a off and on and the other is a reset. Does this mean I can run it as a electric unit only or am I really confused about the two off and on switches. I tried to find a model number or plate to get some info to look it up but dont see anything. I just want to make sure before I turn it on I know what I am doing.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:07 AM   #7
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You should be able to run on gas and electric at the same time.
Or one or the other separate
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:43 AM   #8
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the panel on the inside is for running on gas. when u turn it on, it will use gas and if the electric is turned on, both will heat. the reset (i believe) is just a light that flashes when it resets.

as has already been stated, make sure there is water in the tank before u turn on either the electric or gas. the electric element will only last a few seconds with no water around it. open the relief valve (on the hot water heater) and make sure u get water out of it to make sure it is full. don't just go by a flow at the hot water faucets. (if the water heater is still bypassed, u will get water at the faucets with the heater empty).

the probe (anode), if it is abt half or more gone (down to the steal core that will rust) replace it.

the last time i used the gas was when i bought the trailer in 2002. my electric element was burnt out...either it was turned on during the trailer show, during the walk thru, or by me. bottom line, it was turned on with no water in the heater and burnt out.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:48 AM   #9
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Jim just so you know many trailers have the gas and electric switches together inside the camper.
My electric switch on the inside of camper shuts the hw heater on or off no matter what position the switch is in on the actual hw heater.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:30 AM   #10
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Thanks again everyone for your help. Looks like all the manufacturers do it differently I guess due to cost. Also the manuals that come with the camper are useless since most of them seem to be generic. We hope to go out next weekend and are real excited about camping. Terry
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